Saturday in Sumner and my Living Room

Just south of me the neighboring town is Sumner, Iowa.  Now in rural America, that “neighboring town” is still 20 miles away.  Anyway…I was on the hunt.  I am pleased with the couch, loveseat and recliner we bought last summer.   The rest of the furniture, I was not happy with.

I had an eclectic mess that I couldn’t quite get my figured out in my mind.  I’m all okay with eclectic but this was a bit much.

I had Grandma Kramer’s secretary….


I had this buffet that the television was on.


I had the sewing cabinet I recently bought at an auction….
Read about it HERE.
and I had this end table that was the last thing that Kramer and I worked on together.


You can read the whole story about it HERE.

Well…everything didn’t match at all.  I was tired of looking at it.  I had nice furniture for sitting but the other furniture was a terrible mismatch mess.

I had been thinking about this all since the summer and was finally ready to do something.  I had some priorities.  The secretary from Grandma Kramer had to stay.  The primitive end table Kramer and I worked on had to stay.  I don’t care about totally matching as obviously it isn’t going to match when I have those two pieces which obviously don’t match but I needed something to blend them.

My plan was to go furniture shopping in Waterloo but Kalissa said- “Mom, on your way try Sumner”.  Oh my word…I’m so glad I did.


Kelli and Georgia went with me and I was so glad to have Kelli’s opinion.  She was so helpful….and Georgie was perfect.

We started at Grain and Thread.  I was a great shop.  They had a few things that “could work”…nothing that said BUY ME!!  This time when I was shopping I wanted something that I was HAPPY with…not something that was a “make do” piece.  I’ve had enough “make do” pieces…I’m 54 years old.  I wanted something I WANTED.

Although nothing worked furniture wise, there were still lots of wonderful things there.  The clothes were wonderful and reasonably priced.  There were nice home dec type things there to.  I’ll definitely be back.

From there we went to the antique store on the corner.  We walked in the door and saw this….

Kelli and I both looked at each other…Hmmm.  I liked that it was narrow.  The length was good.


The price okay.


The problem….it was light wood.  It was too nice to paint.  I’m not against painting but if something is nice as is, I hate painting it.  Kramer would have liked this.

I snapped some pictures and we left with the idea that we would keep it in mind.

There was a shop across the street but that wasn’t open.  So the last stop was Maker’s Market.  I wasn’t very hopeful until I walked into the door.  I really didn’t take a lot of pictures.  I was so busy looking at all of the things.  It was a great store….they had Kelli wanting to buy chenille to make the chick and the carrots.


I liked the green piece everything is sitting on.

…and thankfully Georgia was perfect and let us shop.
We found quilts.  I’ll admit to buying this one.  I want to replicate it.  I want to do it in the same colors.  I just adore it.  I’ll have to unfold it and really show it to you in another post.  It’s great.

I’ll admit…I also bought this one….


Paper pieced.  I adore it.  But you can’t really appreciate it until you see this….The pieces are tiny.  I think about 1″ on the sides…Oh I love it.  The thing is so beat up but I didn’t care.  Typically I can say no but neither pattern have I ever really seen before.


I ended up with a pick up full of stuff….including the box Georgia is in.


See how tight the truck was packed.  There was room for us girls and that’s about it.


We went to Hobby Lobby in Waterloo and got groceries before we headed home.

As Kelli was getting out of the car she said, “Mom, snap a picture of my bag and put it in the blog post and tell Jean I love the bag.”  (Blog reader Jean sent one to each of my girls…how sweet!!)


I got home and called Craig asking if he would come over and help me unload my big purchase.  Here is my my new entertainment center…(If you want to call it that).  It’s old it’s rustic.  It’s not a typical piece but I love it.  I’ve always loved parts bins.  This one was dark colored and would perfectly tie in the old end table Kramer and I last worked on.


You can see a peak of the table in the corner.  I’m planning on chalk painting it once I decided what color…and only the bottom.  I’ve wanted to chalk paint it all along but couldn’t decide.  I also got the coffee table and trough underneath.  The trough is holding baby toys.  The coffee table is actually an old wash stand with plexiglass on top.  I like it…again very rustic.
I ended up buying several wooden boxes to stack.  They are hiding toys.


I have to get some time to really get things together but it’s a start that I am finally happy with.  Here are Georgia and Gannon by the new TV stand.
Don’t have it all together yet.  It’s getting closer and I’m feeling more and more comfortable with it all.  I need a new rug yet and will hopefully be shopping for one soon.  I need something to tie things together…..

Right now I have mismatched napping blankets in the bottom.  I’m hoping to make some pillows and small quilts that will “clean it up a little”.  It’s one of those so many ideas and so little time things.

There are some toys in the bins too.  So far, I’m so incredibly happy with my purchases.  Seriously, I just need a decorator to come and it all together and tell me what else to buy.

I promise…more pictures of it all together once the decorator comes…HA!!

If you want to check out Sumner and their great little shops I highly recommend checking this out…


These are the stores involved.

The Twisted Sisters – 2884 Vanderbilt Ave Sumner
Maker’s Market – 110 West 1st St Sumner
Stash – 209 West 3rd Street Sumner
The Wild Raven – 122 East 1st Street
Grain & Thread – 109 East First Street Sumner
The Blooming Bean – 112 West 1st Street Sumner
The Wild Rose – 918 West 1st Street Sumner
Country Boy Salvage – 2970 Cheyenne Ave Nashua

If you head that way let me know.  I’ll meet you for lunch if my plans don’t change.  It sounds so fun!!  The shops we hit were all ones I would recommend!!

I’m happy with the path the living room is finally going on.  It’s still eclectic but it’s at least a little closer to being similar in style.

20 thoughts on “Saturday in Sumner and my Living Room

  1. SueS

    Please make sure to have one of your handy boys fasten the TV stand to the wall- especially with babies pulling things out of it and pulling themselves up holding on to it- I’ve heard of many tragedies when a child pulled a piece of furniture over on themselves.

  2. Fran Fagan

    Love your purchases as I love eclectic and love what I love too. Understand you well. Just a side note though is be sure you secure your TV to the wall as it could topple over with kiddos playing near by with all the bins of goodies. I’m an overprotective grandma too. Love what you are creating and those old quilts.

  3. Francine Fagan

    Love your purchases as I love eclectic and love what I love too. Understand you well. Just a side note though is be sure you secure your TV to the wall as it could topple over with kiddos playing near by with all the bins of goodies. I’m an overprotective grandma too. Love what you are creating and those old quilts. Thanks for all you blog.

  4. Stearns Carol

    Hey, Jo. I am a retired interior decorator and would love to come to your home. Its a bit far but if you want to send me lots of pics I can help you from afar. You are doing a good job so far. That coffee table reminds me of some I’ve seen on Flea Market Flip. Do you watch that show. And seriously, I do not charge anymore for my design expertise. 35 years in the business was enough. But I would love to help you.

  5. Hedy

    Just wanted to say how cute your grandchildren are. Georgia looks so much like Kelli. And I know how pretty Kelli is. Decorating takes time. I’m constantly tweaking things.

  6. Kim LeMere

    What a fun time and the search for just the right piece takes time, I like your choices and how creative to use that piece for your tv stand.

  7. Norma

    Nice! So fun to be able to freshen things.
    My mind went right where Fran’s was except I would fasten the whole tool bin and as a childcare provider you probably already did. Little ones will be so fascinated with all it holds and will pull themselves up.
    Great stuff, Jo and looks like a super fun day with Kelli and Georgie.

  8. Debbie B

    Fun shopping trip. It feels good to have some new things to decorate with, doesn’t it? I look forward to how things come together.

  9. Donna

    I love the things that you purchased, especially the entertainment center. It works so well for you and the kids! Good going!
    Love and prayers

  10. annie

    Definitely secure that tv to the wall, they are made so light today that the least amount of wiggle or jarring near it, it may topple onto a baby.
    I love the decor, cute things.

  11. Cindy F

    I love eclectic and my whole house reflects that! It’s wonderful to look at things and remember the stories of where they came from and who you were with when you found the pieces.

  12. Diana

    My house is very eclectic too, only I shop at the boulevards in our city. I am amazed at what people get rid of. It is so fun collecting furniture there etc. from the boulevard. You have a fun collection too. Those bins are very roomy and good for toys, quick pick up and put away.

  13. Shaaron

    Sorry sweetheart, nobody is going to be in my favor, but you have 2 small children. You could paint your old furniture they are good and safe for the kids, transform then, they belong to you, those that you purchased what history they have. Again sorry to put my mouse where don’t belong, it is only my opinion, probably you never read it. With sincere heart.

  14. Jeanie S, Central IL

    I love your eclectic look and your new purchases. We have used a hinged pine box for an end table for probably thirty-five years; my husband and our boys found it at the dump, hence the “dump box.” The hunt is just so much fun. I am going to keep that little town in mind when we want to explore somewhere new and do some antiquing/thrifting.
    Isn’t it great that Georgie is such a good shopper; she is absolutely adorable!

  15. Judith Fairchild

    I think your TV stand is just about perfect! More lost controllers or toys from the looks of it. Such a good place and fun too. Eclecticism great if you like it and it works have fun and time to enjoy your living room. Those quilts are really pretty. I like the first one. The second one would take me close to forever to get it done.

  16. Katherine Gourley

    You are such a girl after my own heart. I am very eclectic and love old primitive furniture. That “TV stand” was a great find. I live in Illinois, but love, love, love Iowa. I went to an Academy and College in Clinton. Jo, I would love to meet you some day. Your blog brings me so much joy.

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